Invitation to Artists: Cahaba-inspired art sought for juried art show in November 2023 - Cahaba River Society

Invitation to Artists: Cahaba-inspired art sought for juried art show in November 2023

Cahaba River Society and Arts Trussville invite your submissions to our first juried art exhibition, “Cahaba Inspired.”

This themed show will explore our relation to water and nature, embodied by the Cahaba River. The artistic process and the show will encourage artists and audience to immerse themselves in experiences with nature and in nature. We hope the artwork inspires people to value and protect the Cahaba, an essential resource.

If you have never considered this subject matter, now is your opportunity! The Cahaba, famous for the rare and lovely Cahaba Lilies, flows through the heart of Alabama, from its headwaters near Trussville until it reaches the Alabama River southwest of Selma, passing through Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Perry and Dallas counties with beautiful scenery along the way.

Creating work for this show is an opportunity to explore these questions:  What is your relation to water and to the River? How are other beings – wildlife, plants, and people – related to the Cahaba and to each other because of the River? What do you want the world to know about the Cahaba and the River’s web of life? How can the vision in your art bring more people into relationship with the River and nature, and encourage them to act for the River’s benefit?

Cahaba Lily photo by Jeff Chambless
Cahaba River Society connects people with the River because we believe that people protect the places that they know and come to care about. We bring people to the river for environmental education, volunteerism, and recreation. Since many people connect to nature through the arts, we also form partnerships with artists, musicians, film makers, dancers, and creative writers to inspire myriad close connections with the Cahaba.
Cahaba Lily photo by Jeff Chambless.

“The Cahaba” can be many things – the River itself, her tributary creeks and lakes, the water that creates the river, the drinking water the River provides, damage and threats to the River, and the wildlife, plants, landscapes, people, places and communities intertwined with the River.

We encourage that the process for creating your submission includes time spent in nature with these aspects of the River.

Eligible Artworks

The competition is open to all artists. All works created since January 1, 2020 that can be exhibited and hung on a wall will be considered.

Both representational and abstract work is welcome – being inspired by water and The River does not require being representational. Acceptable work includes but is not limited to drawing, painting, photography, collage, mixed media, and printmaking. Maximum size for finished framed/ready to hang work is 48×48 inches. Accepted works must be delivered and retrieved in person and
must be delivered ready to hang (detailed requirements at the Call for Submissions below).

Call for submissions

The  call for submissions in now closed.

PRIZES: Cash awards will be given, including $500 for Best in show and a People’s Choice award, to be decided on the show’s opening night.

Photo of an oil painting on canvas in progress beside the Cahaba River. Amy Petersen paints the Cahaba River during Trussville Heritage Days. Photo by Gary Lloyd.
Amy Peterson paints the Cahaba River during Trussville Heritage Days. Photo by Gary Lloyd.

For questions about the juried competition and show, contact Kathy Prince at 205-655-0608 or email [email protected] – with the subject line: Cahaba Inspired.

Important Dates

Deadline for Entry submission – EXTENDED to Sunday, August 15, 2023
Notification of Acceptance – September 20, 2023
Delivery of Work – November 2-5, 2023
Exhibition Opening and Award Presentation – November 9, 2023, 5:30 to 8:00pm at Trussville Public Library
Exhibition Dates – November 9 – November 30, 2023
Pick Up Work – December 1-5, 2023

Exhibition Information

Exhibition Opening and Award Presentation – November 9, 2023, 5:30 to 8:00pm
Exhibition Dates – November 9 – November 30, 2023

Trussville Public Library
201 Parkway Drive
Trussville, Alabama 35173

How to see the Cahaba River

Find locations to access the Cahaba River for Plein Air painting opportunities using the Cahaba Blueway website, which includes an interactive map of public river access locations.

You can also seek inspiration in Cahaba River images, some of which can be found in the gallery below.

About the Juror

head shot of Graham C. Boettcher wearing a blue suit with a yellow shirt and brown patterned tie standing before a colorful piece of art
Graham C. Boettcher, PhD

Graham C. Boettcher, PhD, R. Hugh Daniel Director and CEO of the Birmingham Museum of Art

Graham C. Boettcher arrived at the museum in 2006, first serving as The Luce Foundation Curatorial Fellow of American Art, and subsequently as The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art, chief curator, and deputy director, prior to his appointment as director in September of 2017. A native of Bellingham, Washington, Boettcher received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, and an M.A. from the University of Washington.

Among his many exhibitions are The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection, which was named to “The Season’s Best Museum Shows” by Architectural Digest in 2012, and Black Like Who?: Exploring Race & Representation (with Dr. Kelli Morgan, 2015), which was named a “Don’t Miss” exhibition by the Wall Street Journal. Recent publications include contributions to exhibition catalogue Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980 (2020) and Lover’s Eyes: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection (2021).

In March 2020, when the Birmingham Museum of Art closed its doors due to the pandemic, Boettcher launched the “Director’s Cut,” a weekly series of live-streaming tours of the museum’s collection galleries, which was named a recommended “quarantstream” by Good Morning America and ABC News. To date, his virtual tours have garnered more than 43,000 views.

“Cahaba Inspired” is sponsored by Cahaba River Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to protect & restore the Cahaba River and its rich diversity of life, in partnership with Arts Trussville.


Cahaba River Inspiration Photo Gallery